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Adelaide of Italy

Saint Adelaide of Italy was born in 931 AD. Her father was Rudolf II of Burgundy, King of Italy. Her first marriage was to Lothar, King of Italy, and was part of a political settlement designed to conclude a peace between her father, Rudolf II, and Hugh of Provence, the father of Lothar.

The Calendar of Saints (a notoriously unreliable source) states that her first husband was poisoned by his successor; nevertheless Adelaide was kidnapped by Berengar of Ivrea, who attempted to force her to marry his son; however Adelaide escaped to Canossa, where she threw herself on the mercy of King Otto I the Great; they subsequently married in 951 . They had four children: Henry, born in 952; Bruno, born 953; Matilda, Abbess of Quedlinburg, born about 954; and Otto II, later Holy Roman Emperor, born 955. She became famous as a founder of monasteries and churches.

When her husband Otto I died, her daughter-in-law forced Adelaide to abdicate. She died on December 16, 999 at Seltz in the Alsace. A hundred years later she was canonized. Her feast day is December 16.